POSITION: Right-handed pitcher
BORN ON: March 18, 1984
AGE: Will be 24 this season
BORN IN: Valencia, Venezuela
LIVES IN: Valencia, Venezuela
WEIGHT: 170 pounds
ACQUIRED: Traded to the Braves from Baltimore as compensation for Leo Mazzone
STATISTICSClick here for Hernandez's 2007 stats
SCOUTING REPORTAfter bouncing back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen in his first season in the Braves' system, Moises Hernandez started 26 games last season (15 in Myrtle Beach, 10 in Mississippi, and one in Richmond). His overall numbers: 12-6, 4.57, 157 hits allowed in 145.2 innings, 74 earned runs, 57 walks, and 72 strikeouts.
Moises was solid in Myrtle Beach (3.66), but he really struggled at the higher levels with a 5.94 in Double-A. Some are a bit concerned that he's one of those pitchers that may have good stuff in A ball but not be as effective at the upper levels of the minor leagues.
Hernandez has a 4-seam and a 2-seam fastball and a changeup. He worked at times on a slurve, and the Braves believe he's going to need another pitch to be effective. There are worries he may not have a good secondary strikeout pitch, a go-to pitch needed with two strikes to put somebody away.
The Braves have to decide what Hernandez's role might be this season. He got shut down in winter ball, and an initial MRI on his shoulder was not very favorable. The Braves are going to do more tests, but perhaps he was not able to take all those innings as a starter on his arm. That might force the Braves, as long as Hernandez is healthy, to place him in the bullpen.
As a reliever, Hernandez would flash a fastball that would consistently sit in the 93-95 mph range, while as a starter last season he was between 89-91 mph. Some coaches also believe Hernandez's approach might be better as a reliever.
2008 OUTLOOKThe Braves have to first see if Hernandez is healthy, which will determine his course for this season. He'll go back to Double-A, and we'll see if he's back in the rotation or in the bullpen. That's really up in the air right now. There is some good stuff there, but the Braves need to see more before knowing how good of a prospect Hernandez may be for the future. And, of course, he has to stay healthy.
ADDITIONAL STORY LINKSClick here for Hernandez's 2007 Player Profile
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. Email Bill at email@example.com.